September 20, 2023

Are Nuisance Calls Just as Bad as Robocalls?

Are Nuisance Calls Just as Bad as Robocalls?

As the telecom industry commits to minimizing illegal robocalls reaching consumers, nuisance calls are still a headache for many U.S. consumers. And they are not illegal. According to the FTC, an illegal call is a pre-recorded message that tries to sell you a product or a service although you have not given written authorization to receive such a message.

In contrast, nuisance calls are unsolicited calls placed by an agent who is trying to sell you products or services. While nuisance calls are not illegal, they still degrade the trust of consumers in unknown calls. In the midst of a busy day, few will pick up an unknown call, especially one that is probably a sales pitch. The distrust this practice causes can damage even legitimate businesses because consumers hesitate to answer any call they are unsure about.

Nuisance Calls Result in Call Labels

“Flagged calls” are divided into two categories: “warning labels” and “intent labels.” Warning labels indicate that a call is likely a scam or spam, while intent labels provide information on the purpose of the call, such as “charity,” “prison,” “political,” or “telemarketing.” These labels often discourage call recipients from answering their phones.

Nuisance calls may receive warning labels because frustrated consumers report the callers for irritating them. Even if these calls are legal, receiving a dozen fund-raising calls from a local political party in one week can lead someone to file a complaint.

If consumers ask to be removed from a call list or add their number to the Do Not Call (DNC) registry and the caller ignores their request, nuisance calls can become illegal. The line between legal and illegal communications can be thin.

Avoid Receiving Nuisance Call Labels

Nuisance calls are simply calls that consumers do not want to receive. To avoid receiving flags on your direct inward dialing service (DID) for this practice, avoid engaging in the following:

  • Repeatedly calling disinterested consumers. When a consumer rejects your offer, remove them from your list.
  • Not following compliance regulations. The FCC dictates dialing campaign rules, and some states and industries have additional regulations. Make sure your campaigns follow all applicable standards to avoid flags.
  • Using dialing lists that contain uninterested consumers. Make certain your dialing lists are up-to-date and do not contain random or outdated numbers. Avoid purchasing bargain lists.
  • Not leaving a callback number or voicemail. Consumers will label your call illegitimate and possibly block it if you do not leave callback information.
  • Not having a live agent on the line when a consumer answers. When consumers are greeted by silence, they generally hang up and potentially block your number.
  • Using disingenuous-sounding automated messages. Automated messages that promise great results or threaten potential problems lead to consumer distrust and complaints.

Although your purpose is to offer a necessary product or service, failure to follow certain standards will cause consumers to label your efforts as a nuisance.

Utilizing AI to Determine Spam

Analytics engines now use advanced AI technology to help protect consumers from unwanted calls. Artificial intelligence can determine if a call is potentially illegal and prevent it from reaching its destination. This technology can also identify nuisance calls and apply an appropriate call label.

Adaptive AI is a “self-learning spam protection system” by Hiya that analyzes call patterns to determine if a call is a threat or a nuisance and needs to be flagged as such. This technology eliminates the constant need to retrain humans to do the job accurately.

Audio fingerprinting is another advanced weapon against unwanted calls. Also known as acoustic fingerprinting, this RoboKiller technology can digitally condense an audio signal so that it can be quickly identified. This means that the program analyzes a call’s audio to see if it matches other fingerprints in the RoboKiller database. If that fingerprint is in the system, it is marked as spam and is blocked from reaching the consumer.

These technological advances are helping protect call recipients from nuisance calls as well as illegal ones.

Safeguarding Your Phone Numbers’ Reputation

Although the industry continues to fight its long battle against robocalls, it cannot afford to ignore other unwanted calls. In reality, consumers are just as fed up with nuisance calls as they are with illegal robocalls. To protect your company’s reputation, you need to abide by all compliance regulations and ethical dialing practices. In that way, you will prevent consumer complaints that can lead to harmful flags and labels.

When you follow proper dialing procedures, consumers are more inclined to do business with your company. Basic steps such as dialing with an accurate caller ID, training agents with empathy, removing disinterested customers from lead lists, and spacing out follow-ups can help build your brand’s reputation and boost your answer rates. In today’s technologically advanced landscape, you have to work hard and be ethical to connect with your target audience.